Scouting Mets' Prospect #27: Kevin Deaton

The New York Mets signed Kevin Deaton an an undrafted free agent out of Merritt Island High School in Florida back in 2000. Deaton is a huge presence on the mound, literally, and ranks #27 among the Mets' Top 50 prospects. Here's a scouting report on Kevin Deaton.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Kevin Deaton
Position: Starting Pitcher
DOB: August 7, 1981
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 235
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Kevin Deaton is a huge presence on the mound and was a successful pitcher in high school, earning Honorable Mention as USA Today's Player of the Year for the state of Florida. In his junior year, Deaton went an outstanding 15-1 with a 1.20 ERA, striking out 133 batters in 99 innings before going 12-1 his senior year with 139 strikeouts in 93 innings. He was also a monster hitter at the plate, playing first base on the days he wasn't pitching. He hit .455 with 13 HR and 46 RBI in just 32 games at first base his senior year. He grew up also playing football as an offensive lineman and even accepted a scholarship to attend the University of Florida (over Alabama) to play football, which was the main reason he went undrafted back in 2000. Deaton played football because of his size. At 6'4" and 270 lbs as a sophomore, he was pressured into playing football because of his immense size and athletic ability. But his passion was always baseball and decided to forego playing football for the Gators and sign with the Mets.

Deaton began his professional baseball career with the Kingsport Mets of the Appalachian League in the summer of 2000 and repeated another year with the K-Mets in 2001 after logging just twenty innings his first season. His success at Kingsport propelled him to Brooklyn in 2002 where he burst on to the prospect scene, leading the NY-Penn League in strikeouts and going 7-1 for the Cyclones. After pitching a career-high 135 innings for the Bombers in 2003, Deaton earned a promotion to the Florida State League this past season. Despite having tendonitis problems, Deaton managed to pitch well in his 19 starts for St. Lucie in 2004. He even earned a trip to the Arizona Fall League.

Deaton has pitched very well in the Mets' system since signing four years ago. He has gone 25-12 with a 3.23 ERA in his minor league career thus far. Deaton has worked tremendously hard on his weight to get in better pitching shape. At 235 lbs, Deaton has come a long way from his football playing weight of 290 lbs his senior year of high school.










St. Lucie








Capital City
















Capital City























* Stats as of 10/1/04

Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup.

Fastball. Deaton throws a 4-seam fastball that sits between 90-92 MPH with great movement and tops off around 94-95 MPH at times. When he drops to a 3/4 motion, his fastball has excellent run action, moving from right to left.

Other Pitches. Deaton has a sharp breaking curveball that he throws in the 76-78 MPH range. He's been working on changing speeds with his curveball to make it more effective. He also has two different changeups, one that runs away from left-handed batters and one that drops down on right-handed batters, which gives him a nice edge.

Pitching. Deaton is power-control pitcher. He has excellent command of his pitches and boasts a better than 3-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his minor league career. He sets up his breaking pitches with his fastball and keeps hitters guessing with his changeup. Deaton uses both sides of the plate and keeps hitters off balance. He has worked very hard on getting into pitching shape and has come a long way towards increasing his stamina.

Projection. Aside from struggling in the Arizona Fall League this season (10.31 ERA), it's hard to ignore the numbers he's posted in his professional career. He hasn't received the accolades as a legitimate pitching prospect from some pundits, probably due to the fact that he went undrafted. But Deaton is a very solid pitching prospect with some good upside. He has gotten his body into good game shape and projects to be a solid #4 type of pitcher in the rotation. Think Jaret Wright for a good MLB comparison, although Deaton's a more imposing figure on the mound physically.

ETA. 2007. Deaton has produced at every level he's pitched at and will almost certainly begin the 2005 season at AA-Binghamton, which would put him on pace to reach the Majors by 2007. He'll have to show that he's over his bouts of tendonitis and remain healthy if he's to stay on track.

Starting Pitchers

2004 Team

Aaron Heilman

AAA - Norfolk Tides

Bob Keppel

AAA - Norfolk Tides

Neal Musser AA - Binghamton Mets
Brian Bannister AA - Binghamton Mets
Yusmeiro Petit AA - Binghamton Mets
Miguel Pinanago A - St. Lucie Mets
Kevin Deaton A - St. Lucie Mets
Matthew Lindstrom A - Capital City Bombers
Vincent Cordova A - Capital City Bombers
Greg Ramirez A - Capital City Bombers
Evan MacLane A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Scott Hyde A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Michael Devaney A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Joseph Williams A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Mike Swindell A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Gaby Hernandez R - GCL Mets


The Mets have some good pitching prospects and the system's depth is only going to get better with the additions of Alay Soler, Matt Durkin, and Philip Humber. Considering they have not pitched a professional inning in the Mets system as of yet, we'll focus on the pitchers that have. Among the Mets' pitching prospects, Yusmeiro Petit and Gaby Hernandez seem to have the highest ceilings simply because of their age and talent. However, the Mets do have a number of other good pitching prospects that still have time on their side to make their mark. The following starting pitchers are currently in our Tier One group...the top starting pitching prospects in the Mets system.

1) Aaron Heilman - Heilman struggled out of the gate in 2004 but was perhaps the hottest pitcher in the entire Mets' system the second half of the year. All Heilman needs is a chance. Give the guy 30 starts and see what he can do. But that day may never come with the Mets as he appears to be in New York's doghouse. It's a shame too. He's a better pitcher than people think.

2) Bob Keppel - Like Heilman, Keppel struggled mightily to begin the 2004 campaign but finished the year strong. Keppel's always had the repertoire and pitching ability to become a Major League starter. The question has been his strikeout rate. Still only 22 years old and seems forgotten.

3) Neal Musser - With the trade of Scott Kazmir, Musser becomes the Mets' best left-handed starting pitching prospect. A top prospect a couple of years ago, Musser was beset with injuries and had a bounce back year in 2004. Musser is still only 24 years old and should not be forgotten.

4) Brian Bannister - His stats do not accurately portray how good a pitcher he is. Bannister has four plus pitches in his repertoire and has the chance to be a front-line starter someday. Remember, Bannister has only been pitching for 4 seasons...two in college, two in the pros. So as good as he is, he is still learning which is a scary thought.

5) Yusmeiro Petit - The Mets #1 pitching prospect the minute the Mets traded Kazmir. Forget about the pundits and all their talk about lack of "stuff". Petit knows how to pitch at such a young age (19). Drawing comparisons to Greg Maddux, Petit has the ability to change speeds on his fastball and is very deceptive on the mound. Bottom line is he's been baffling hitters from the word go.

6) Miguel Pinango - Pinango was cruising through the Mets system until an injury in St. Lucie ended his season in 2004 after just three starts. Pinango's command is superb. Only Petit's command is perhaps better and even that's not a lock. Still only 21 years old (he'll be 22 by the start of next season), Pinango is still a very good pitching prospect for the Mets.

7) Kevin Deaton - Growing up as an offensive lineman, Deaton is an imposing figure on the mound. Like Pinango, Deaton's rise through the system hit a speed bump in 2004 when he was plagued by injury (tendonitis). His fastball tops off at 94 MPH with solid movement and is still only 23 years old.

8) Matthew Lindstrom - Nobody throws as hard as Lindstrom does in the Mets' organization...nobody! Lindstrom is a fascinating talent that is getting a chance to showcase his stuff in the Arizona Fall League this year. With a fastball that regularly sits in the 94-96 MPH range, he can top it off at 100 MPH at times. Used primarily as a starter up to this point, his future seems to be in the bullpen...possibly as a closer.

9) Vincent Cordova - Cordova has the talent to be a very good pitching prospect for the Mets. Drafted out of college in 2003, Cordova needs to prove he can get hitters out at the higher level. Like Pinango and Petit, Cordova's success is predicated on his control. He's a Tier One prospect for now but time is not on his side.

10) Greg Ramirez - Used as both a starter and a relieve in his short career thus far, Ramirez is like Cordova. He has the talent and the stuff to be a Tier One pitching prospect for the Mets, but like Cordova, he's going to have to prove it at the higher levels to remain in this group. It's unclear how he will be used in the future.

11) Evan MacLane - MacLane gives the Mets' pitching in their farm system they seriously lack: quality left-handed pitching among their starting pitching prospects. MacLane was dominating South Atlantic League hitters in 2004 before being sent to Brooklyn where he had the same success. MacLane should be challenged in 2005 and will most likely be part of the St. Lucie staff. Like Ramirez, Cordova, Petit, and Pinango, MacLane is all about the control. He has great command of his pitches.

12) Scott Hyde - Hyde was not scheduled to pitch in live games this past season after being drafted but still managed to showcase some good pitching in his stint with the Cyclones. Hyde has the chance to be the "sleeper" among the Mets' 2004 draft picks.

13) Michael Devaney - Among the NY-Penn League leaders in ERA, Devaney is very solid. As is the case with most of the Cyclones' rotation, he'll have to duplicate the same success at the higher levels to remain in the Tier One level of starting pitching prospects.

14) Joseph Williams - Like Devaney, it's hard to dispute the success Williams had in Brooklyn this past season. The fact that he's a lefty aids his chances to be challenged quickly in the Mets' farm system.

15) Mike Swindell - Another college arm that was drafted in 2004 that will have to quickly prove he can become a solid starting pitching prospect for the Mets.

16) Gaby Hernandez - The Mets' third round pick in 2004, right now, Hernandez appears to be second behind Petit with the highest upside among the starting pitching prospects. It's too early to tell, but Hernandez has the talent to duplicate Petit's fast track through the minors.

Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories